Wine: Alamos Red Blend
Grapes: 40 percent malbec, 18 percent tempranillo, 14 percent bonarda, 14 percent cabernet sauvignon, 7 percent petit verdot, 7 percent syrah Region: Mendoza, Argentina
In the glass: Alamos wine is an inky opaque blackish-red color with fine ruby streaks going through it and out to a deep painted reddish-pink rim definition with high viscosity.
On the nose: The wine has an unusual "exotic" range of rustic scents with crushed elderberry fruit, myrrh, coriander seed, mint, varnished wood and crushed black cherries with underlying notes of earth and minerals.
On the palate: This wine is immediately powerful, yet rounded, with spicy cherry juice, elderberry juice, concentrated sloe fruit crush, pomegranate pits, earthy references and other pungent black fruit concoctions. It eases off on the midpalate with soft, supple tannins that, although very present, are finely balanced, and then finishes with a big earthy fruit kick, invoking freshly crushed elder fruit to the end.
Odds and ends: Alamos Red Blend notes that it is among "The Wines of Catena." This is significant, because the Catena family is considered the "first family" of vintners in Argentina. The vineyards of Mendoza, where this wine comes from, are among the world’s highest elevations planted with vines, as they stretch up the foothills of the Andes mountains and enjoy the temperate climate. I do love these so-called Red Blend wines because they offer a chance to sample something that incorporates many grape varieties with great drinkability at the same time. This is an interesting wine that, based on its concentration and forceful flavor profile, is an excellent alternative to more traditional cabernet and malbec wines from Argentina. Yet it clearly has its own style and character. It might need about an hour out of the bottle prior to consumption but should then provide immense drinking pleasure and will be good during the next year or so. It would work great with traditional rustic meat dishes, such as carne asada and pollo con mole.
Gil Lempert-Schwarz’s wine column appears Wednesdays. Write him at P.O. Box 50749, Henderson, NV 89106-0749, or email him at email@example.com.